COVID-19 is an infection caused by the novel coronavirus, also called SARS-CoV-2. Some of the most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Globally, it has been observed that more than 16 million people contracted the coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the worst public health crises seen in a century. Hence, to meet urgent medical needs, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare research organizations are engaged in developing new, innovative, specific antiviral agents to treat the coronavirus.
What is Favipiravir?
Favipiravir is a synthetic drug first discovered to assess the antiviral activity of chemical agents active against the influenza virus. It was approved in Japan in 2014 to treat the emerging pandemic, i.e., influenza infections. Favipiravir acts as an inhibitor for the viral RdRp enzyme that allows facile insertion of favipiravir into viral RNA while sparing human DNA. The National Medical Products Administration of China has approved Favipiravir or Favilavir for the treatment of coronavirus. Recently, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Favipiravir for mild to moderate COVID-19 infections.
How is Favipiravir used for the treatment of Covid-19?
The recommended dose of Favipiravir for adults is around 1800 mg orally on the first day (twice a day), followed by Favipiravir 800 mg tablet orally (twice a day) from the next day for about 14 days. The overall cost of the Favipiravir course in India is around Rs. 10,200/-. However, the drug has some side effects, and these were observed in around 20% of the patients prescribed Favipiravir. The use of Favipiravir tablets produces certain minor side effects in patients, such as hyperuricemia, diarrhea, reduced neutrophil count, and transaminitis.
What is Fabiflu?
In June 2020, the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) approved the repurpose of Fabiflu (Favipiravir) to treat COVID-19. Fabiflu tablets are used to treat coronavirus in emergency conditions. Fabiflu 400 contains favipiravir as an active ingredient that restricts the spread of infection caused by the virus.
How is Fabiflu used for the treatment of Covid-19?
Fabiflu tablets stop the virus from multiplying and also decrease the spread of the virus in the body. Additionally, the tablet also helps speed up the recovery process of infected patients. However, some common Fabiflu side effects are diarrhea, decreased white blood cells, increased uric acid, and increased liver enzymes.
What is Remdesivir injection?
The Food & Drug Association (FDA) approved the Remedesivir injection for emergency use in hospitalized patients. Remdesivir injection is prescribed to hospitalized patients and children above the age of 12 years. Remdesivir injections also restrict the spread of the virus in the body.
How is Remdesivir injection used for the treatment of COVID-19?
Remdesivir injection is usually prescribed for 5 to 10 days, injected once daily, and is infused for a period of around 30 minutes to 2 hours. The duration of these injections depends on the medical condition and the patient’s response to the treatment. The price of a Remedesivir injection in India is around Rs. 899/- per dose. Some side effects of this medication are nausea, pain, soreness, swelling at the injection site, bleeding, etc.
What is Favilavir?
Favilavir is an antiviral drug approved by the National Medical Products Administration of China for clinical testing in patients for COVID-19. Favilavir was previously known as Fapilavir, and the active ingredient used in the drug is favipiravir. The drug is also available for use in Japan. The U.S FDA has not approved the drug yet.
How is Favilavir used for the treatment of COVID-19?
Favilavir attacks the virus by inhibiting the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The use of favilavir has minimal side effects. Its use is the same as that of an antiviral.